Detroit Symphony signs first new concertmaster since 1988


(DETROIT, May 6, 2012) —During an international webcast to some 30 countries this afternoon, Detroit Symphony Song, Yoonshin - retouched photoOrchestra (DSO) Music Director Leonard Slatkin announced the DSO’s first new concertmaster in 24 years. Yoonshin Song, distinguished member of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, has won the position of Concertmaster of

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the DSO. The announcement was made on-stage after intermission to a packed house at the Orchestra’s final “Pictures at an Exhibition” performance. Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy, who has gracefully served as Acting Concertmaster during the 2011-12 season, will maintain that title until Song officially joins the Orchestra in September 2012.

“The DSO has a long tradition of engaging outstanding concertmasters. With the appointment of Yoonshin Song, we continue the high level established for this orchestra,” said Slatkin. “Yoonshin, in only a few days, established herself as one of the very best. Her musical skills and method of communication go hand in hand with my own philosophies. All of us look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”

Song, 30, who played with the DSO as Guest Concertmaster for this weekend’s performances of “Pictures at an Exhibition,” will make her solo debut next May with the Brahms’ Violin Concerto. Her debut piece will replace the originally-scheduled Brahms’ Symphony No. 3.

This was the first audition process for Concertmaster after Emmanuelle Boisvert, who held the position for 23 years, left the DSO to accept the Associate Concertmaster position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in May of 2011.

“This is an example of one of the unique aspects of an orchestra’s open audition process: the opportunity to be completely and wonderfully surprised by an unknown candidate selecting us, and then earning our admiration and respect,” said Anne Parson, DSO President and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome Yoonshin to the DSO family.”

Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy, Acting Concertmaster of the DSO said, “I am thrilled with the committee’s decision. Having Yoonshin here is a great shot in the arm. I look forward to sitting with such a superb player and person. She is exactly what this orchestra needs.”

About Yoonshin Song

Acclaimed as “a wonderfully talented violinist… [whose] sound and technique go well beyond her years,” the newest member of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, violinist Yoonshin Song, was born in South Korea where she began her musical studies at age 5. Making her orchestral debut at age 11, she has since built a successful performing career throughout Korea, United States and Europe. Song earned her master’s degree and Graduate Diploma under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein at New England Conservatory and recently

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completed the Artist Diploma and Professional Study programs at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Robert Mann and Glenn Dicterow.

Winner of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition, Song earned many prestigious prizes throughout her career. Some highlights include prizes in the Young Concert Artists International Competition in New York, Lipizer International Violin Competition in Italy, Henry Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poland and Ima Hogg International Competition in Houston. In her native South Korea, Song has won virtually all the major national competitions. Most recently, Song received the David G. Whitecomb Foundation Award and gave a recital in Germantown, New York, which was well received by critics and audience members.

Since giving her debut recital after winning the Jeunesses Musicales Audition in 1999, she has been sought after as a recitalist performing throughout Korea, United States and Europe to great acclaim. As a soloist she has performed with many orchestras around the world such as Houston Symphony Orchestra, P.Constantinescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, KBS Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Baroque Chamber Orchestra, among many others. Most recently, Song made her Utah Symphony Orchestra debut in the 2010 Deer Valley Music Festival.

Song has participated both as a charismatic soloist and an imaginative chamber musician in numerous music festivals such as Marlboro Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Encore String Festival, Miyazaki Chamber Music Festival in Japan, Nice International Summer Academy and Yfrah Neaman International Music Course in Europe.

Song currently plays on a Vincenzo Rugeri violin on loan to her by a generous sponsor in Michigan.

About the DSO

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The DSO offers a performance schedule that includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit


9 Responses to “Detroit Symphony signs first new concertmaster since 1988”

  1. Congratulations to Yoonshin Song. A marvelous accomplishment. Looking forward to her performance in September.

  2. Does Yoonshin Song teach private lessons- if so , is there a way she can be contacted – thanks

  3. avatar Ray Droste on May 7th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I very much enjoyed Yoonshin’s initial appearance with the DSO on Thursday evening. Her selection appears warranted and the speed in completing the selection process is to be applauded.

  4. avatar Joyce Herron on May 7th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Delighted to see the latest news. Look forward to having the young lady part of our great orchestra.

  5. avatar Marion Chrisner on May 7th, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I am delighted with the appointment. Song’s energy and musicality was apparent in her performances this past weekend.

  6. avatar Nancy Gerlach on May 7th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Congratulations Yoonshin !! We look forward to enjoying your talents at our concerts this year and next. We’re very much looking forward to seeing you.

    Nancy Gerlach

  7. avatar Edith Clifton on May 8th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    The DSO is to be congratulated for once again bringing a world-class artist to become the next concertmaster. How privileged we are to hear great music played by a great orchestra in a great hall.

  8. avatar Robin Jaynes on May 8th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I was at the wonderful concert Sunday (playing one of my all time favorites)and the announcement surprised and delighted me. I was expecting a long, drawn out process. Positive news is needed to counter-act the ups and downs of living in the “D”. There is beauty as well as toughness here. Looks and sounds like Concertmaster Song will contribute to the beauty. Welcome.

  9. avatar william caffey on May 10th, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Since we have all these beautiful performances in the can, as it were, why couldn’t they be offered for for purchase on blu-ray or digital HD downloads? I think the San Francisco Symphony has been very instrumental in doing this. Please look at this as a supportive revenue stream.

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